Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Arizona legislature considers taking away health insurance from pregnant women, vaccines from kids, and $220m from schools

The staff of the Arizona legislature recently released 255 pages of possible cuts to the Arizona budget to deal with a $1 billion deficit. The possibilities include slashing health insurance for 18,000 low-income children, dropping hundreds of low-income pregnant women from AHCCCS health coverage as well, cutting out vaccines for children, cutting back on necessary safety inspections of child care centers, and removing $220 million from schools. While I have briefly glanced at the 255 page document, I haven't been bored enough to read it all. Rumor is that the proposed budget cuts are "hidden" on the internet (because the internet is a good place to hide things, after all) of a government budget office, so if you do an internet search, you may be able to find some very boring, but possibly important reading.

State Senators and Representatives have been quick to point out that no decisions have been made yet on budget cuts, that nobody wants to make all these cuts, but that they were merely prepared by staff so the legislature could see what was available to be cut. If you think it is important for children to have a good start in life by getting the prenatal care they deserve, or to go to child care centers where they are not abused or neglected, or that it is important to fund schools, well, you should probably call your state Senator and Representatives today and tell them that you feel it is a priority.

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